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De Lima still barred from receiving visitors, but allowed to make phone calls — PNP

By: - Reporter / @CMarquezINQ
/ 03:40 PM May 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — While having visitors has been disallowed following the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), detained Senator Leila de Lima has not been barred from making correspondence via phone with her family and legislative staff while inside the Custodial Center of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Camp Crame.

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This was the assurance given by PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa Friday as he responded to minority senators’ letter questioning the national police’s rules in not allowing visits from De Lima’s family and staff since April 25.

“Una, sinagot na natin itong sulat but basically… we also allow her to make the phone calls. Sinasabi ko nga, standard naman ang ating polisiy,a kagaya ng Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and Bureau of Jail and Management Penology (BJMP),” Gamboa said in an online press briefing.

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(First, we answered this letter but basically we also allow her to make phone calls. I have explained that it is standard policy, just like in the BuCor and BJMP.)

Asked if PNP plans to allow visitors at the Custodial Center when Metro Manila shifted to general community quarantine on June 1, Gamboa said they will still need to reassess their policies, considering that the police camp is also housing a quarantine facility for cops stricken with COVID-19.

“We need a reassessment, kasi yung aming proximity, yung aming quarantine facility, which is housing PNP patients and pati yung RT/PCR lab, it’s very proximate din sa laboratory, and of course, dahil standard yung sinusunod natin together with BJMP and Bucor. We need to reassess whether to open up yung visitor natin sa custodial center,” Gamboa said.

(We need a reassessment because of its proximity to our quarantine facility, which is housing PNP patients and our COVID-19 laboratory, and of course we take into consideration the standards that we follow, along with the BJMP and BuCor. We need to reassess whether to open our custodial center to visitors.)

In March, BJMP and BuCor started the suspension of visitation privileges to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus disease.

De Lima, a staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, has since been detained at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame in 2017 due to alleged drug charges filed against her.

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TAGS: Archie Gamboa, coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, custodial center, De Lima, minority senators, Nation, PNP‎
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